Journal Online - Stronger LGUs pushed

News & Interviews
24 July 2015

Journal Online

Featured-Image-Journal-OnlineThe whole is only as strong as the sum of all its parts.

This is true for all organizations or institutions – private or public.

Thus, if the Aquino administration is truly bent on achieving an inclusive society, then it should further empower local government units in order to enable them to fulfill their mandate as frontline deliverers of public service as envisioned in the Local Government Code.

After all, public service, like politics, is all local.

It must begin in the grassroots, servicing the needs of people from whom local executives derive their consent to govern.

But sometimes, LGUs must assert the primacy of their popular mandate and remind “imperial” Manila to steer clear of their jealously guarded jurisdictions or local constitutiencies. 

Thus, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. told around 500 mayors from Luzon  to demand stronger support for local government units from the national government.

Marcos, chairman of the Senate Local Government Committee, aired this advice when he spoke before local chief executives attending the League of the Municipalities of the Philippines-Luzon Island Cluster Conference in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur.

He noted that under the present administration, the national government provides little support for LGUs.

“I sincerely believe that the solution to our economic problems and our difficulties in the delivery of services will be improved if we empower our local governments by providing them additional support from the national government,” the lawmaekr said.

Among others, he  said he is pushing for a larger share of LGUs in the Internal Revenue Allotment, from the current 40-percent-to-60-percent sharing in favor of the national government, to an even 50-50 split.

Marcos also said he is supporting moves to increase the tax base from where IRA is computed. At present, the IRA share of LGUs is based solely from the collections of the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

“Our position is that the IRA share should be based on all internal revenue collections of the government, not just on the BIR collections. That is why we have a case now pending in the Supreme Court to assert this position. We are optimistic that the Supreme Court will eventually uphold our position,” he said.

With the approaching elections, the lawmaker said mayors can expect that candidates seeking national posts would try to woo their support.

“Choose a candidate who are supportive of local government units, not only for yourself, but also for the sake of your towns and, more importantly, for the development and progress of our country,” he said, stressing that his advice should not be taken as a campaign speech.

“I am merely stating my conviction that our local government units eserve better support and that is why we need to elect national officials who really understand the important role of local government units and the challenges that they face,” said Marcos.

Our thoughts, exactly.